LVP Flooring

We are often asked what type of flooring we recommend in homes and commercial buildings. We are big fans of Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) instead of hardwoods and laminate flooring. LVP is water resistant, less expensive, and easier to install than laminate or hardwoods. In addition, LVP has many more applications than laminate and hardwood flooring. As the case for all types of flooring, there are many levels of quality and price for LVP flooring.

01. How durable are laminate floors?

Laminate flooring is long-lasting and highly durable. The surface is made with aluminum oxide which is one of the hardest substances on earth and provides a very robust and wear resistant surface relative to other types of flooring. The core is made out of high density fiberboard that makes laminate flooring highly dent resistant. However, they are not indestructible; care should be taken to help avoid scratching and damage. With a small amount of maintenance, laminate floors will last a very long time.
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02. What are laminate floors and how are they made?

Laminate flooring is made by covering a High Density Fiberboard (HDF) with melamine impregnated paper. The HDF is sandwiched between the melamine papers and permanently bonded together under heat and pressure. The decor paper image is designed from a photograph of wood. The layers of a laminate are: Wear Layer; Decor Paper; HDF core board; backer paper.
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03. What is the difference between laminate flooring and hardwood flooring?

Both laminate flooring and hardwood flooring are made of wood but are fundamentally different. Hardwood is wood in its natural form, cut and finished to be installed as a floor. Laminate is refined wood compressed together with a printed paper providing the visual. The advantages of laminate are that it has superior wear properties over hardwood and can be produced at a much lower cost. Laminate flooring’s durability is better as it is engineered to have excellent wear properties where wood flooring can be enhanced but is generally limited to the natural values of the wood. Wood dents and often changes color with sunlight, unlike laminate. This is part of the natural characteristic of wood and is part of the attraction of a natural product. Laminate, due to its engineered properties, can be installed below grade (in a basement). Laminate flooring has a great flexibility in design as any color or design can be printed. Laminate can provide exotic wood looks without the harvesting of rare or potentially endangered species of wood. The visual for hardwood is provided from nature.
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04. How are laminate floors installed?

Laminate floors are installed as a floating floor, meaning that they are not actually connected to the subfloor. The laminates lay on top of the subfloor and are cut during installation to allow an expansion gap around the edge of the flooring installation. Note that it is essential that a 3/8” space be left around the perimeter of the floor. This allows the floor to expand and contract with changes in humidity and temperature throughout the year.
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05. Can laminate flooring be installed on stairs?

Yes, laminate flooring can be installed on stairs. The planks should be glued down with construction adhesive and a stair nose transition used. The stair nose should also be glued and nailed to the subfloor to ensure stability of the installation.
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06. Can laminate be installed in damp areas?

It is not recommended to install laminate in any area of the home that will be consistently subjected to high levels of moisture. Installations in wet locations such as full bathrooms, rooms containing saunas, enclosed porches or verandas and rooms with floor drains, laminates should not be used. Extended exposure to moisture can cause the core of the laminate flooring to swell and or warp. When installing laminate in any area that could be subject to moisture, such as bathrooms, a mold resistant waterproof silicon seal should be used to completely fill all of the expansion joints around the perimeter of the floor. This will prevent water from getting below the floor which could cause the floor to fail.
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07. How do I repair minor scratches?

Minor scratches or nicks can be masked with a color matched furniture pencil or similar. Deeper gouges or chips can be repaired with color matched wood filler.
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08. Can a plank in the middle of the floor be replaced?

Yes, if a plank is damaged and needs replacement there are two options. The floor can be uninstalled and reinstalled. Alternatively the plank can be cut and removed.
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09. What is a laminate flooring AC rating?

AC stands for Abrasion Class and is a wear rating that has been standardized by NALFA (North American Laminate Flooring Association). The AC rating measure the abrasion resistance of the floor which determines how well the floor will withstand day to day wear. The AC rating generally ranges from 1 to 5. AC 3 is the industry standard for everyday residential use. AC 4 and AC 5 are considered commercial for heavier traffic areas.
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10. Are laminate floors suitable for wheelchair use?

Yes, laminate flooring is suitable for wheelchair use. Note that caution should be taken to remove any sharp debris that could be embedded in the rubber of the wheels as this could cause scratching of the floor.
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11. What if I have allergies, is laminate flooring a good product?

Yes, laminate flooring is a hard surface floor and is considered hypoallergenic. Its closed cell surface means that there is limited ability to trap dust, dust mites and other allergy-causing organisms. This can be important for people suffering from asthma or dust allergies.
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12. Can I change the gloss level of my laminate floor?

No, the appearance of the laminate floor is determined during manufacturing when the top melamine surface is cured under heat. From this point on it is a closed cell surface that is robust and resists any type of surface alterations. It cannot be waxed, oiled, polished, sanded or alternated in anyway.
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13. Does LVP need to be acclimated?

Yes, at least 48 hrs.
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14. Does LVP expand and/or contract?

It does, not because of moisture, but more so from heat.
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15. Is an expansion gap needed for LVP?

Yes ¼” around the perimeter of the room.
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16. Can LVP be installed over existing ceramic tile?

Yes, any deep or wide grout lines must be leveled so they are flush with the tile surface.
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17. Can LVP be installed over an existing vinyl floor?

It can be installed over a single layer of sheet vinyl.
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18. Can LVP be installed over a radiant heat system?

Only a system that uses water for heat. Electrical systems are not recommended or covered under warranty.
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19. Why should I work out of more than one carton during installation?

To ensure a more random natural appearance in the floor. Because LVP is a man-made product, there will be repeating planks in a carton.
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20. Where can you install LVP?

Anywhere in the home, all levels and all rooms. It just has to be “in” the house not outside.
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21. Can the click vinyl be glued down?

Yes, use the same adhesive that is used for the dry back/glue down products.
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22. Is an underlayment required?

No it is not required, but recommended in most cases, especially installation upstairs.
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23. Can I wet-mop a luxury vinyl plank floor?

Yes, the vinyl plank flooring is virtually waterproof and can be wet mopped frequently.